Multi-dimensional in vitro bioactivity profiling for grouping of glycol ethers Academic Article uri icon


  • High-content screening data derived from physiologically-relevant in vitro models promise to improve confidence in data-integrative groupings for read-across in human health safety assessments. The biological data-based read-across concept is especially applicable to bioactive chemicals with defined mechanisms of toxicity; however, the challenge of data-derived groupings for chemicals that are associated with little or no bioactivity has not been explored. In this study, we apply a suite of organotypic and population-based in vitro models for comprehensive bioactivity profiling of twenty E-Series and P-Series glycol ethers, solvents with a broad variation in toxicity ranging from relatively non-toxic to reproductive and hematopoetic system toxicants. Both E-Series and P-Series glycol ethers elicited cytotoxicity only at high concentrations (mM range) in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes and cardiomyocytes. Population-variability assessment comprised a study of cytotoxicity in 94 human lymphoblast cell lines from 9 populations and revealed differences in inter-individual variability across glycol ethers, but did not indicate population-specific effects. Data derived from various phenotypic and transcriptomic assays revealed consistent bioactivity trends between both cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes, indicating a more universal, rather than cell-type specific mode-of-action for the tested glycol ethers in vitro. In vitro bioactivity-based similarity assessment using Toxicological Priority Index (ToxPi) showed that glycol ethers group according to their alcohol chain length, longer chains were associated with increased bioactivity. While overall in vitro bioactivity profiles did not correlate with in vivo toxicity data on glycol ethers, in vitro bioactivity of E-series glycol ethers were indicative of and correlated with in vivo irritation scores.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Grimm, F. A., House, J. S., Wilson, M. R., Sirenko, O., Iwata, Y., Wright, F. A., Ball, N., & Rusyn, I.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • November 2018